Government IT: Atlantis Shuttle's Final Flight in Space Nears End

By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2011-07-18 Print this article Print
Through Astronauts Eyes

Through Astronauts Eyes

This image shows the International Space Station with Atlantis docked on the right and a Russian Soyuz on the far left.
As the space shuttle Atlantis nears the end of its 12-day mission in space—the final mission of the 3-decade-old shuttle program—President Barack Obama praised crew members aboard the spacecraft and the ISS (International Space Station) during a call July 15 to the docked ships from the White House. The president saluted the final shuttle mission and everyone who made it possible, and noted that it "ushers in an exciting new era to push the frontiers of space exploration and human spaceflight." Atlantis carries a crew of four and the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module containing supplies and spare parts for the space station. The mission will also fly the RRM (Robotic Refueling Mission), an experiment designed to demonstrate and test the tools, technologies and techniques needed to robotically refuel satellites in space, even satellites not designed to be serviced. The STS-135 astronauts are Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, and mission specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim. Atlantis, the fourth orbiter built, flew its maiden voyage Oct. 3, 1985, and is named after the two-masted, primary research ship that operated for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts from 1930 to 1966.
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at Before joining, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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